LOS ANGELES (AP) - This was hardly a soft performance by Pau Gasol.
Unable to find the ball in the second halves of the first two games of the NBA finals, Gasol went out and got it Tuesday night in Game 3 of the NBA finals, right when it mattered most.
Gasol scored only nine points, but five came during the decisive stretch of the game, helping the Lakers to an 87-81 victory that cut Boston's lead to 2-1.
The Lakers' lead was down to three midway through the final quarter when Gasol tipped in a missed shot for a 75-70 lead. He then went up strong to grab the rebound of another miss and put it back in, making it 77-70 with 4:18 remaining.
After a basket by Paul Pierce, Gasol cut hard to the basket and was fouled. His free throw made it a six-points game and the Lakers stayed ahead from there.
Gasol averaged 16 points in the two games in Boston, but most came early in the game. He was limited to three points in the second half of Game 1, then had only four in the final 24 minutes Sunday.
Worse, he had been hearing the ``soft'' criticisms again, but he played tough in Game 3, grabbing 12 rebounds and helping contain Kevin Garnett, who shot just 6-of-21 from the field.
Gasol shot only 3-of-9, but the amount of made shots wasn't important - only the timing of them.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Updated NBA Championship Odds Now that the NBA All-Star Game has wrapped, which team is currently favored to win this year's championship?
Thumbnail Pelicans' own Davis hopes to lead West On the heels of a rather tepid Saturday in New Orleans, can the NBA’s marquee talents bring the Smoothie King Center to life this...
Thumbnail Thompson, Irving load up for downtown duel With Stephen Curry out of the mix this time around, a lot of people feel compelled to classify the 2017 3-point contest as a wide-open affair. Klay...
Thumbnail Magic phenom aims to dazzle New Orleans After narrowly losing to Zach LaVine 12 months ago, Aaron Gordon appears fully committed to winning the 2017 All-Star dunk contest. Will anyone else even put up...
Thumbnail A-listers hit hardcourt in New Orleans This weekend, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome belongs to the biggest names in hoops – for the most part. Various entertainers will hit the hardwood tonight,...
Advertisement

NBA Team Pages